Education About Asia: Online Archives

Japanese and American Education: Attitudes and Practices

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In eight chapters and 336 dense pages, Harry Wray presents his description of the strengths and weaknesses of the educational systems of these two countries. At the end of each chapter, he makes specific recommendations based on insights gleaned primarily from practices in the other country. As a long-term resident of Japan, most recently as Professor of Japanese History and International Relations in the College of Foreign Studies at Nanzan University in Nagoya, Japan, Wray has the benefit of an insider’s view of Japanese education, and his descriptions of it include common complaints made by many of the country’s citizens, e.g., rigid Ministry of Education policies and too much pressure from examinations. His views of U.S. education often seem to be drawn from center-right commentators such as Lynne Cheney, Chester Finn, and Diane Ravitch.